Raúl O. Paz Pastrana

Raúl Paz-Pastrana is a Mexican immigrant filmmaker, cinematographer, and multimedia creator, based in Denver, Colorado. His work intersects contemporary art, political documentary, and visual ethnography to explore themes of belonging, alienation, and the concept of “home.” Raúl often collaborates with BIPOC artists and academics that are working on bold artistic projects that expose racism and xenophobia, such as the worldwide “Hostile Terrain94” installation and the “Coyotek project” interactive website. His films have screened at museums and festivals worldwide including at the Sheffield Doc/Fest in the U.K., the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) in New York City, and at the Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) in Mexico. Raúl’s work has received support from the Spark Fund, the Princess Grace Foundation, The Ford Foundation-JustFilms, The LEF Foundation, ITVS, Catapult, and the Sundance Institute among others. He is a BAVC MediaMaker Fellow, a Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow, a New America National Fellow, and a Creative Capital Awards Artist Fellow.


To stem the immigration tide, Mexico and the U.S. collaborate to crack down on migrants, forcing them into ever more dangerous territory. Every year hundreds of thousands of migrants make their way along the trail running from southern Mexico to the US border. Gustavo’s gunshot wounds from Mexican police, which have achieved abundant press attention, might just earn him a ticket out of Nicaragua. Meanwhile anthropologist Jason painstakingly collects the trail’s remains, which have their own stories to tell. Fragmented stories from Hondurans crossing through southern Mexico assemble a vivid portrait of the thousands of immigrants who disappear along the trail. Border South reveals the immigrants’ resilience, ingenuity, and humor as it exposes a global migration system that renders human beings invisible in life as well as death.


Border South

Alejandro Jiménez: The Ground I Stand On

Program Affiliation

Documentary Lab
Spark Fund

Cohort Year

2018-2020 (Documentary Lab)
2022 (Spark Fund)
2023 (In The Making)





Documentary Lab
Spark Fund
In the Making

Other Filmakers